Chicons au gratin

Chicons au gratin

What are Chicons au gratin?
Chicons au gratin is a Belgian national dish consisting of braised Belgian endives  (aka chicons) wrapped in slices of baked ham and covered with a Mornay sauce and some grated cheese.  Steaming hot with a creamy cheesy sauce, chicons au gratin is comfort food par excellence.  The bitter Belgian endives mixed with the sweet baked ham also make for a winner combination.  Chicons au gratin is probably my daughter’s all-time favorite dish.

Chicons au gratin makes for a friendly family-style meal.  There’s nothing fancy about this dish, yet it appears as if the cook…

Read More

Belgian Foodie® Winter Salad

Belgian Foodie® Winter Salad

How can you create a Winter Salad?
Winter salads bring color, vitamins and fresh tastes to brighten up your plate and keep your palate alive.  In many ways I prefer winter salads to salads at other times of the year because the ingredients are often more crispy and full of flavor.

The key to making an exceptional winter salad is to blend colors and tastes.  Don’t be afraid to use bitter vegetables like Belgian endives, radicchio and escarole, all of the chicory family.  Bitter tastes can be offset by adding sweet ingredients like sliced apples, dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, figs, and …

Read More

Braised Belgian Endives

Braised Belgian Endives

Why learning how to braise Belgian Endives is so important?
Everyone in Belgium needs to learn how to braise Belgian endives, commonly known as chicons or witlof in Belgium, at some point in their life.  It should almost be a requirement of citizenship. Many people are a bit intimidated to cook Belgian endives because they are easy to overcook or often fall apart while cooking.  Yet, braising Belgian Endives is actually fairly simple.

All it takes to braise Belgian endives is a pan, some olive oil or butter, garlic, a touch of nutmeg, a sprinkle of sugar and a little water.  From start to …

Read More

Belgian Endive Pie

Belgian Endive Pie

How can I use Belgian endive in a new way?
Belgian endive, known as chicory in the United Kingdom, chicons in the French-speaking part of Belgium and witlof  in the Dutch-speaking part of Beligum, is generally prepared only a couple different ways.   OK, this is a bit of an exaggeration, but not much.  Raw and mixed in a salad, braised in olive oil with a little garlic as a side dish, or chicons gratin  (endives braised wrapped in ham and covered with a Mornay sauce).  Belgian endives mix great with pork (any kind of bacon or ham), Roquefort or blue cheese, walnuts and root vegetables (especi…

Read More